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  • 1.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Accounting for the environment: a gap between theory and academic practice?2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper extends calls for the exploration of environmental management control systems (EMCS) as integrated systemic approaches by addressing how environmental controls are presented in the extant management accounting literature via a systematic mapping process. It assesses if EMCS are presented as systemic, holistic structures at the intra-organisational level from a scholarly viewpoint, or if the components remain disassociated as discrete systematic processes and procedures. Via a systematic literature review based on the levels of integration and the instruments and processes of control from 2007 to 2016, existing frameworks, such as Malmi and Brown’s (2008), are suggested as non-transferrable to the environmental accounting realm as per academic practice, and that a new conceptual map could prove more utile. The study finds that the systemic perspective of EMCS is empirically wanting in favour of reductionist approaches via discrete systematic environmental management accounting (EMA) tools which are often exploratory and lack overt theoretical underpinnings. The paper concludes that the increased use of theoretical perspectives could improve the functionality of EMCS, and that academics wishing to explore elements of environmental control should do so systemically, concurrently considering institutional, contextual, strategic, social and numerical controls under the variable of time, inherent to the evolutionary nature of the sustainability discourse and beyond the intra-firm level. All-embracing, it posits that traditional reductionist approaches are partial when accounting for the environment and there is a gap between theoretical operationalisation and academic practice.

  • 2.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Boundary spanning actors as coercive-enabling (social) controls in environmental management control systems2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This conceptual paper extends Adler and Borys’ (1996) bureaucratic perspective on enabling and coercive control to the operational levels of social control within environmental management control systems (EMCS) by using structuration theory as a framework. Responding to calls for more studies on informal controls, it asks: a) What can be categorised as enabling–coercive control for boundary-spanners as social agents? b) How do EMCS as social structures enable or constrain boundary-spanners in the implementation and diffusion of environmental accounting within both intra and inter-organisational environments? c) How do boundary-spanners as agents enable or constrain the long-term development, integration and diffusion of environmental sustainability via EMCS within both intra and inter-organisational environments? Taken together, it expounds theorising within environmental accounting research by offering propositions that structuration can be instrumental for not only performance-related outcomes, but too decision-making and control, as well as intangible measures such as increased legitimacy through transparency and coordination. Moreover, it contributes to understandings of EMCS where elements of social control via boundary-spanning actors are considered vital as the cohesion mechanism for systemic responses over time and space, moving beyond systematic conceptualisations based on one or two elements of control. Ultimately, static perceptions assumed by conventional (environmental) management accounting are broadened by concluding that social controls dynamically work in concert to combine all other aspects of the EMCS package whilst simultaneously being framed by it; thus operationally and normatively refining the environmental plight for truly sustainable organisations.

  • 3.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Enabling social control in environmental management accounting2017Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Environmental management decisions in CSR-based accounting research2018In: Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, ISSN 1535-3958, E-ISSN 1535-3966Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This commentary presents conceptualisations of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the realm of environmental accounting. By asking what the main theoretical perspectives are within CSR-based environmental accounting research, and how have these been used, it finds that there have been three clear theoretical waves. These are based on legitimacy, stakeholder and institutional theories, which evidently build upon one another as CSR1 (responsibility), CSR2 (responsiveness) and CSR3 (proactiveness) respectively. Nevertheless, such perspectives are weak as they remain at the strategic level and do not confront the operational levels of management accounting and control. Thus, structuration theory is proposed as the fourth wave of CSR-based research by emphasising that CSR rests neither with the organisations as agents, nor the institutions as social structures, but is the product of both. This informs managers by illustrating that environmental accounting decisions are shaped from not only the external environment, but also from within.

  • 5.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Environmental performance and SMEs via the implementation of ISO 140012018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Opening up the black-box: Environmental management control systems in SMEs with ISO 140012018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Temporal strategic knowledge-sharing nets as instances of sustainability governance in practice2019In: Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, ISSN 0969-160X, E-ISSN 2156-2245Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    The nature of control in the development process of ISO 14001-certified SMEs’ sustainable control systems2018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Theorising & modelling social controls in environmental management accounting2018In: Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, ISSN 0969-160X, E-ISSN 2156-2245, Vol. 38, no 1, p. 30-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This systematic review of empirical environmental management accounting literature contributes by asking how social controls – as components of environmental management control systems (EMCS) – have been presented, developing understandings of informal elements of control as vital for extending the field and ultimately the sustainability plight. By using Luft and Shields’ (2003) framework for theory-consistent empirical research as an analytical mapping tool, it establishes the thematic properties of social control as: 1) knowledge about environmental issues; 2) commitment to environmental issues; 3) communication via interaction, dialogue and transparency of environmental issues; and 4) a corporate culture that fosters education, training and awareness of environmental issues; determined under the condition of available resources. Taken together, these properties are considered instrumental for systemic EMCS-packages, allowing the development of future studies by defining and refining the theoretical properties of social control, contributing to the environmental management accounting and control literature. Moreover, the properties are also considered useful for managers to positively affect sustainability performance. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether social control should be treated as part of the EMCS or external to it.

  • 10.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. Department of Business Administration.
    Theorising and conceptualising the sustainability control system for effective sustainability management2019In: Journal of Management Control, ISSN 2191-4761, E-ISSN 2191-477X, Vol. 30, no 1, p. 25-64Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This conceptual paper explores the iterative relationship between system design and use for the development process of sustainability control systems (SCS). Buildingupon Adler and Borys’ seminal framework (Adm Sci Q 41(4):61–89, 1996) as ananalytical tool, it suggests that SCS are characteristically distinct, and more researchinto the dual role of control (i.e. control over based on system design and controlin situ based on system use by the individual user) is necessary for future theorisations of the SCS. It poses that for sustainable futures that extend beyond organisational boundaries, more attention is required on individual general employees inmanagement accounting and control frameworks as instrumental for performanceoutcomes. To this end, individual values, borne from the extra-organisational context,are considered important alongside organisational ones for the developmentof SCS. Thus, the paper bridges perspectives on system characteristics, the individualand performance outcomes by offering a theoretical framework for futureresearch. It also extends studies on accounting as a social practice by emphasising the extra-organisational factors that influence internal accounting systems. Finally,it expounds upon the notion of social control as an individual-level phenomenon,necessary for sustainability. This expanded theoretical perspective also has implicationsfor practice by encouraging managers to think strategically about how systems are received from the perspective of the user. This can encourage more commitment to the sustainability cause from the outset, as well as over spatial and temporal boundaries.

  • 11.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    To be controlled, or not to be controlled?: The case of integrating environmental sustainability within an international logistics company2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Focusing on the development process of an environmental management control system (EMCS) in a large Scandinavian logistics company, this study sets out to explore the shifting relationship between control over, based on system design, and control in situ, based on the individual employee’s experience, experimentation, professionalism, transparency and sustainability competence. Using the theoretical framework of enabling–coercive bureaucracy [Adler, P. S. and Borys, B. 1996. Two types of bureaucracy: enabling and coercive. Administrative Science Quarterly, 41(4), 61-89], it asks: In which ways are employees constructed as controlling subjects or objects of control in an environmental management control system context? By placing more emphasis on the role of individual actors beyond managerial tiers, it responds to both empirical and theoretical gaps as a baseline to move forward from. This is deemed necessary in order to bridge the distinction between system design and use for environmentally sustainable futures that extend beyond organisational and generational borders.

  • 12.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Transient knowledge nets as instances of multilevel governance for sustainability2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper expands on the novelty of using transient knowledge nets as sustainability governance mechanisms under the framing of institutional theory based on regulative, cultural-cognitive and normative dimensions. Through a case study of one transient net, existing at the public–private interface within Sweden, it explores: a) what net’s functions are; b) how the net is received and perceived by its multisector actors; and, c) the potential of such nets for diffusing sustainable practices throughout the supply chain upon termination. The guiding question is: How do multisector organisations respond to society and state with regard to the strategic implementation and diffusion of management accounting processes from multi-level environmental objectives? In this sense, it bridges the gap between field and organisational perspectives in the coordination of various sustainability objectives and offers a ‘shooting star’ analogy of this process over time and space. Specifically, it elaborates on the degree that such regulatory – yet concurrently interactive – governance mechanisms have on the long-term implementation of operational sustainable practices through institutionalisation via 1) the mobilisation of allies, as well as alliance cultivation and cooperative partnerships/networks; 2) the normalisation of beliefs regarding the Swedish environmental objectives; and, 3) the net’s ‘rules’ regarding goal-implementation as a corporate competitive advantage. It concludes that discussions in these nets are instrumental stimuli to normalise sustainability knowledge which can be seen as an intangible social control mechanism for effective environmental management accounting and control within both intra and inter-organisational environments.

  • 13.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Lindh, Cecilia
    School of Business, Society and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, Sweden.
    The sustainability-age dilemma: A theory of (un)planned behaviour via influencers2018In: Journal of Consumer Behaviour, ISSN 1472-0817, E-ISSN 1479-1838, Vol. 17, no 1, p. E127-E139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigates the relation between age and sustainability awareness for consumers via the third, mediating variable of influencers to reduce the intention-behaviour purchase gap. It proposes that traditional theories of planned behaviour are limited as they do not account for unconscious and indirect pathways to axiological change. A structural model with the 3 constructs of age, influencers, and sustainability awareness is tested with linear structural relations on a sample of 788 consumers, complemented with focus groups and interviews to generate deeper insight into the model's constructs. The results demonstrate a relationship between age and sustainability awareness, as well as between the importance of influencers for increased sustainability awareness in younger consumers, namely, millennials. This suggests that practitioners should work with influencers perceived as trustworthy to increase sustainability awareness for the millennial subset consumer group. The methodology applies a mixed approach, interpreting both qualitative and quantitative aspects, and contributes to the ethical consumerism literature with new knowledge on age differences connected to sustainability awareness, particularly highlighting on the influence of influencers for the younger generations.

  • 14.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. School of Business, Society and Engineering, Department, Mälardalen Högskola, Västerås, Sweden.
    Pio Monteiro, Mariana
    Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal; Católica Porto Business School, Porto, Portugal.
    Ferreira, Inês
    Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.
    Westerlund, Johanna
    School of Business, Society and Engineering, Department, Mälardalen Högskola, Västerås, Sweden; Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Aalto, Roosa
    Department of Business Management, Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, Mikkeli, Finland.
    Marttinen, Jenni
    Department of Business Management, Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, Mikkeli, Finland.
    Language ability and entrepreneurship education: Necessary skills for Europe’s start-ups?2018In: Journal of International Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1570-7385, E-ISSN 1573-7349, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 369-397Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Language ability and entrepreneurial education are seen as essential resources for start-ups operating in intensified landscapes of internationalisation and globalisation. Deemed as the necessary skills for corporate effectiveness vis-à-vis rivals, this paper responds to calls for increased understandings of cultural componentsas vital to entrepreneurship and the product of institutional forces. Thus, it explores: (a) the impact language ability has on start-up expansion; (b) the perceptions of internationalrelations as based on language ability as a tool for cross-cultural communication; and (c) the role of educational context from the entrepreneurs’ perspective. Based oninterviews from European online start-ups across three discrete contexts—Finland,Portugal and Sweden—it concludes that contextual trends regarding language andeducation are founded upon the cultural-cognitive and normative pillars ofinstitutionalisation. Further, by combining actor-context perspectives, it poses thatlanguage ability and education are resources borne from the domestic environment which positively moderate the start-up’s international success. Nevertheless, the notion of learnt entrepreneurship remains contested. Taken together, this study contributes byoffering deeper insight into the role of context on entrepreneurial tendencies by combining resource and institutional perspectives.

  • 15.
    Johnstone, Leanne
    et al.
    Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business.
    Svärd-Sandin, Elinor
    Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    Lindh, Cecilia
    Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.
    The Scandinavian Cooperative Advantage?: A Mixed Method Approach to Highlight the Influence of Contextual Conditions for Environmental CSR2017In: International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development (IJESD), ISSN 1474-6778, E-ISSN 1478-7466, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 336-358Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Multilateral actor-to-actor (A2A) networks, exhibited and commonplace in Scandinavia, are considered key to effective environmental CSR implementation and organisational success. This research investigates the proposed Scandinavian cooperative advantage within the construction industry in order to better understand: a) if the contextual conditions of a country affect environmental CSR uptake; b) if construction companies exhibit environmental CSR-practices differently in discrete contexts; and c) the role of stakeholder collaborations for explicit (soft-law) environmental CSR uptake and competitive advantage. With Sweden and Scotland as representative examples of two different contexts within and beyond Scandinavia, the results indicate that the contextual conditions of a country affect the perceptions, and likelihood, of environmental CSR uptake from both organisational and customer perspectives. However, it remains unclear as to whether stakeholder collaborations and A2A networks, traditional within Scandinavian societies, actually influence environmental CSR uptake more so than in external contexts.

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